Tesla is recalling nearly 54,000 vehicles because of its “Full Self-Driving” software which allows them to pass through stop signs without coming to a complete halt.

According to the Recall documents posted Tuesday by U.S. safety regulators, the company will disable the feature with an over-the-internet software update.

In fact, the new feature lets vehicles go through stop signs at up to 5.6 miles (9 km) per hour. The recall indicates that Tesla programmed its vehicles to break the law in most states, where police will ticket drivers for disregarding stop signs.

According to the official documents, Tesla agreed to make a recall after two meetings with officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company said in documents that it is not aware of any crashes or injuries caused by the feature.

The recall targets Model S sedans and X SUVs from 2016 through 2022, 2017 to 2022 Model 3 sedans and 2020 through 2022 Model Y SUVs. A firmware release that disables the rolling stops is expected to be released early February. Tesla has disbanded its media relations department concerning this topic. NHTSA commented in a statement:

“The Vehicle Safety Act prohibits manufacturers from selling vehicles with defects posing unreasonable risks to safety, including intentional design choices that are unsafe. If the information shows that a safety risk may exist, NHTSA will act immediately.”

According to the documents, Tesla introduced the “rolling stop” feature in a software update that was sent out to the testing owners on Oct. 20, 2020. NHTSA met with Tesla in Jan.  this year to discuss how the software operates. On Jan. 20, the company agreed to disable the rolling stops with the software update.

The document also states, that Teslas would be allowed to go through the intersection at 0.1 mph to 5.6 mph without coming to a complete stop, if the following conditions were met:

  • The vehicles have to be traveling below 5.6 mph while approaching the intersection
  • No external moving cars, pedestrians or bicyclists should be detected nearby.
  • All roads leading to the intersection had to have speed limits of 30 mph or less.

Last week Tesla said in its earnings release that “Full Self-Driving” software is currently being tested by owners in nearly 60,000 vehicles. The company said that the software will accelerate Tesla’s profitability. Elon Musk noted he’d be surprised if the software can’t drive more securely than humans.

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Nikoleta Yanakieva Editor at DevStyleR International
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